The popular misconception, fed by the corporate media, is that state workers have it easy, and deserve to get their benefits cut and their union crushed.
Well, meet three state workers and listen to their stories and then reconsider that misconception.
Latanza Joshua provides care at the Southern Wisconsin Center in Union Grove. Its website describes the center as a "state-operated intermediate care facility for persons with mental retardation that specializes in serving individuals with developmental disabilities, often combined with mental illness and certain problem behaviors."
"I help take care of their daily needs," says Joshua, who has worked there for ten years now and makes $15 an hour.
Joshua has a five year old and a two year old. "I'd like my kids to get a good education," she says, adding that she supports the teachers who went out on strike.
An AFSCME member, Joshua is worried about the cuts that Walker is so intent on imposing.
"I'm already living paycheck to paycheck," she says. If the cuts go through, "I would be basically working to get to work."
She has a message for the governor: "I want Scott Walker to live on my income for one month and see how well he could handle it, and then I'd like to see him come do my job."
Joshua works with Lashawn Patterson, 34, who also provides care at the center.
"I like my job," Patterson says, "but it takes special skills to do my job."
She worries that if Walker makes his sharp cuts or if he savages the union, quality people will quit.
"You start shortchanging people and they're going to leave," she says. "Then what happens to the clients and their care? They need consistency."
Patterson says the most important thing for her is maintaining her collective bargaining rights.
"We're willing to give up our pay, but we want to keep our union strong," she says. "We just want to have a voice. Without our union, who is going to listen to us?"
Brian Kaphingst, 32, is a corrections officer at the Waupun Correctional Institution. He's worked there for ten years now, and his starting pay was $11 an hour.
Gov. Walker has already threatened to call out the National Guard to do the work of correctional officers, which Kaphingst thinks is a really bad idea.
"He'd be pitting worker against worker," Kaphingst says, noting that some correctional officers are also members of the Guard.
And for National Guard members who haven't worked in corrections, they'd be in for a rude shock, says Kaphingst.
"They could be spat on," he says. "They could get feces and urine thrown at them."
He also warns that the inmates would not respond well. "Inmates are comfortable with the system now and with their everyday routine," he says. "Any change that contradicts that routine would be disastrous." If the National Guard comes in, "there could be a riot."
Kaphingst says he knows several corrections officers who voted for Walker but now regret it.
"The ones I talked to apologized," he says. "They didn't realize how radical this guy was going to be."
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Walker Losing Support Among Rep. State Senators."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.